Coping with Trauma

Psychological trauma may set in after a distressing or life-threatening event. Sufferers may develop extreme anxiety or PTSD, or they may have ongoing problems with relationships and self-esteem. But many overcome trauma, offering inspiration to others who have had life-altering negative experiences.

 

Recent Posts on Trauma

It’s Not 'All in Your Head.' It’s in Your Brain.

Current research helps us to understand that some physical illnesses, especially those that are not easily explained, are not made up at all. They are the result of complex neuroendocrine responses due to heredity, trauma and stress. The symptoms are real. They are not all in one’s head.

Betrayal and Abandonment in Therapy

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on July 30, 2015 in The Me in We
When sudden death, suicide, or a sexual advance shatters the clinical alliance.

New Empirical Research on Dream Recall and Content

These new articles in the journal Dreaming show the importance of taking age, culture, and external threats into account when trying to understand the nature and functions of dreams in people’s lives.

Uncovering the Past and Embracing the Future

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Capstone Treatment Center.

The "2-minute Miracle"?

Even very short amounts of time engaged in expressive writing are healing. Both psychological and physical benefits have been found. Here are a few tips if you want to get the benefits of expressive writing for yourself.

Baby Crying? Don't Shame the Parents!

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
A medical doctor, also a parent, wrote to me recently to complain about my blog post, "'Dangers of Crying it Out.'" Here is (most of) my response.

An Invaluable Lesson From Elders

Although suffering in life is inevitable, we can mitigate it.

Breaking The Bystander Effect in Sports Concussions

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on July 24, 2015 in Brain Trauma
We witness concussions frequently, yet from the sidelines and stands, we may gasp or cringe. But we definitely won't do or say anything, right? It's the dreaded "Bystander Effect," that has people stunned still when someone yells, "call 911!" However, I propose every youth sports team in the US empower a "Concussion Coordinator" to solve this problem.

"The Feeling Brain" Like Disney/Pixar Movie "Inside Out"

As an expert in Psychology, when I saw Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out", I was happily surprised by its accuracy in its portrayal of emotions (aside from emotions being personified and sitting in a "control room"!) At the same time that I saw the movie, Norton Publishing asked me to review the book, "The Feeling Brain", and I found quite a few similarities between the two.

Severe Migraine: Finding Answers in the Mind, Not in Pills

There are 45 million Americans with migraine and about 10% of those have frequent and severe headaches that are unresponsive to medications and other treatments. Most doctors would describe migraine as a genetic disorder, however this blog presents a different view. A patient with severe migraines is presented and her cure lay in her willingness to reappraise her life.

Trauma Workers At Risk for Compassion Fatigue

Those who experience compassion fatigue are often more caring of their clients, and more vulnerable to the emotional pain of others. There are, however, ways to overcome compassion fatigue.

Failing to Protect Sandra Bland

Many legal issues surrounding Ms. Sandra Bland’s arrest and death entail further investigations, including whether existed the illegal arrest and abuse of authority by the officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation and whether her death at a jail cell in Waller County, Texas was suicide or murder. One thing is certain that the jail authority violated the law.

Accessing a Remembered Resource to Enhance Resiliency

Although it is true that many people don’t recognize or use their internal strengths and emotional hardiness until they are confronted with a traumatic experience, having an awareness of and enhancing resiliency shouldn’t just be in response to overwhelming stress or threat.

Rwandan Stories of Change

Last week as part of our Rwandan Stories of Change Project we visited the Genocide Archive in Kigali

Fragility, Thy Name Is Child

The avoidance of trauma and traumatization will one day be the whole business of upbringing.

Can Using Xanax When Flying Cause PTSD?

“We barely made it. After we landed, they closed the airport. Thank God I had my Xanax to get me through it.” Though life-threatening events happen rarely in aviation, they happen routinely in the Xanax-fueled mind of an anxious flier. Threats to one's life, whether real or imagination-based, can lead to PTSD.

The Benefits of a Trauma-Sensitive Approach to Healing Shame

I have created a compassion cure program for former victims of trauma that includes: self-understanding, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-encouragement. This article focuses on the first of these five components of self-compassion.

Seven Myths of Breast Cancer

By Jennifer Haupt on July 16, 2015 in One True Thing
Many women feel guilty about getting breast cancer because they incorrectly believe that if they had lived a “perfect” life, they wouldn’t get it. The truth is, plenty of ridiculously fit, yoga practicing, pesticide free vegans get breast cancer too.

Life After Law Enforcement

Much like the military, survival for cops depends on close relationships with fellow warriors in blue. In leaving those ranks, however, there is almost certainly a metaphorical “death in the family.” Although officers have a love-hate relationship with their jobs and it’s difficult to stay, it’s often more difficult to leave. Moving forward requires a healthy path.

A Life Interrupted: The Tim Bransfield Story

In the summer of 2002, Tim Bransfield had it all. Then Tim crashed his mother’s car head-on into a tree at eighty miles per hour, and, as he says in his book, “everything went dark.”

5 Ways to Use Setbacks to Grow Better, Not Bitter

We may not be able to control all the things that happen to us, but we can choose how we respond to hard times.

Creative Rehabilitation, Part 3: Stroke

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on July 12, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
It is especially important to think outside the box when planning rehabilitation for victims of stroke who are young or members of a minority group.

A Very Dark and Sad Day for Psychology

Many people trust psychologists with their emotional, behavioral, educational and relational health and well-being. They must be confident that psychologists always do the right thing and follow their ethical principles without exception. It may take some time for psychology to rebuild some of that trust after the release of the Hoffman Report on torture.

Cortisol and Oxytocin Hardwire Fear-Based Memories

New research shows that the "stress hormone" cortisol and the "love hormone" oxytocin can create a double whammy when it comes to hardwiring anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress?

Changing the name of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) to post traumatic stress (by dropping the word "disorder") is a movement by government and military to destigmatize this condition. However, this idea misses the point. PTSD is not a normal reaction to trauma which post-traumatic stress implies, but an actual disorder with serious symptoms and disability.

Trauma and the Freeze Response: Good, Bad, or Both?

Almost everyone is familiar with the fight-flight response—your reaction to a stimulus perceived as an imminent threat to your survival. However, less well-known is the fight-flight-freeze response, which adds a crucial dimension to how you’re likely to react when the situation confronting you overwhelms your coping capacities and leaves you paralyzed in fear.

Dealing With Trauma

Controlling what we remember could lead to programming trauma victims to eliminate painful memories and strengthening the ability to retain certain types of information.

The Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hate?

Do Confederate soldiers deserve monuments, flags, glory, and honor? Or is it time to dismantle Confederate monuments and remove the flag from the public arena?

Rejecting Islam

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on July 06, 2015 in The Secular Life
Muslims who reject their religion face serious consequences

Pet Sematary, Cujo, and Disaster Psychology

Psychological lessons from a chilling incident during our Maine vacation.